Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - The "Other You"

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

* Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc.  Be mindful of your family's privacy, though!

* Write a blog post of your own, respond with a comment to this post, or write a Facebook status post or a Google+ Stream post.

Here's mine:

Do I really have a life outside of genealogy and family history research, society activities, blogging and speaking? Of course I do - I only do that 8 to 12 hours a day when the grandkids aren't here or we're not traveling.

My other interests include:

* Being with my two daughters and their families, including the four grandchildren (boys aged 9.4 and 6.9, girls aged 7.9 and 4.7). I'm not averse to making family history with all of them!

* Traveling - although we usually combine genealogy research and conference-going with sightseeing and visiting friends. 

* Reading mystery novels - authors like James Patterson, John Sandford, John Grisham, Michael Palmer, Lee Child, Jack Higgins, Michael Connelly, John Lescroart, Tom Clancy, etc. I usually read in the evening while watching baseball games or news shows.

* Keeping up with current events (including politics, science, religion, aerospace) via online forums and websites, network and cable news shows, print newspapers, etc.

* Being a devoted fan of the San Diego Padres (MLB baseball - we go to about 25 games a year, and watch on TV) and San Diego Chargers (NFL football - we don't go, only watch on TV). 

*  Entertainment - I don't watch any entertainment shows on TV, don't rent or go to movies, except once in a long while.  We used to have a tear membership to a local theater, but don't this year.

*  Friends - we go to church almost every week, and some church social events, and occasionally go to lunch or dinner with friends.  We go to parties when we're invited.  Linda goes out swimming, shopping and lunching almost every day (thank goodness!).  

* Eating and sleeping - Linda is an excellent cook and I really appreciate her culinary talents. We go out to eat occasionally at steak houses or El Pollo Loco.  I try to get 7 hours a night to stay sane, and occasionally take a 20-30 minute power nap in the afternoon in my recliner with the TV on.

*  Exercise?  Um, not much these days.  Does typing count?  I used to walk a mile or two several times a week, but my feet hurt now when I do that.  Ah, mental gymnastics solving genealogy puzzles!  I know that I need to do more exercising my body, but genealogy is so addictive!

Pretty tame, isn't it? But, but, but - see, I have a life!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - HARTSHORN (England > Medfield, mass.)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  

I am in the 7th great-grandmothers, up to number 557: Mehitable HARTSHORN (1683-1771). [Note: the 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through three American generations of this HARTSHORN family is:

1.  Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)
17. Lucretia Townsend Smith (1827-1884)

34.  Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840)
35.  Elizabeth Horton Dill (1791-1869)

68.  Aaron Smith (1765-1841)
69.  Mercy Plimpton (1772-1850)

138.  Amos Plimpton (1735-1808)
139.  Mary Guild (1735-1800)

278.  Nathaniel Guild (1712-1796)

279.  Mary Boyden (1708-1776)

556.  Nathaniel Guild, born 12 January 1678/79 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 28 January 1774 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1112. Samuel Guild and 1113. Mary Woodcock.  He married before 1708 in probably Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

557.  Mehitable Hartshorn, born about 1683 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 10 February 1771 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children (10) of Nathaniel Guild and Mehitable Hartshorn are:  Mehitable Guild (1708-1798); Mary Guild (1709-1751); Nathaniel Guild (1712-1796); Susanna Guild (1713-1714); Susanna Guild (1717-1742); Samuel Guild (1719-1743); Rebecca Guild (1721-1793); Sarah Guild (1723-????); Moses Guild (1725-1789); Aaron Guild (1728-1818). 

1114.  Joseph Hartshorn, born 02 July 1652 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 30 July 1727 in Walpole, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He married before 1677 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

1115.  Sarah, born about 1655 in Massachusetts, United States; died 22 October 1727 in Walpole, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

Children (11) of Joseph Hartshorn and Sarah are:  Susanna Hartshorn (1677-????); Sarah Hartshorn (1679-1750); Mary Hartshorn (1681-1704); Mehitable Hartshorn (1683-1771); Abigaikl Hartshorn (1686-1727); Joseph Hartshorn (1688-1758); Tabitha Hartshorn (1690-1756);  Rebecca Hartshorn (1693-1743); Thomas Hartshorn (1695-1773); Ebenezer Hartshorn (1697-1741); Martha Hartshorn (1700-1781).

2228.  Thomas Hartshorn, born about 1614 in England; died before 18 May 1683 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married about 1640 probably in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
2229.  Susanna Buck, born about 1622 in Kent, England; died 18 May 1659 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children (8) of Thomas Hartshorn and Susanna Buck are:  Thomas Hartshorn (1646-1646); Thomas Hartshorn (1648-1729); John Hartshorn (1650-1737); Joseph Hartshorn (1652-1727); Benjamin Hartshorn (1654-1694); Jonathan Hartshorn (1656-1672); David Hartshorn (1657-1738); 
Susanna Hartshorn (1659-1718).

The American Hartshorn families are described in:

Derick S. Hartshorn III, The Hartshorn Families in America: A Genealogical Study of the Line of Thomas Hartshorn, the Immigrant, of Reading, Massachusetts,and Other Known Families Bearing the Hartshorn/e Surname that Arrived in America in Succeeding Years (Baltimore : Gateway Press, 1997).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Legacy QuickGuide on Pennsylvania Genealogy

Legacy Family Tree has commissioned a series of four-page booklets on various aspects of genealogical research.  Each laminated guide contains four pages of valuable information covering a variety of genealogy research topics. Legacy QuickGuides are written by genealogists and family historians who are experts in the subject areas.  These QuickGuides are oriented towards the online researcher - there are several pages of website links on selected subjects for the specific topic covered by the QuickGuide.

You can see the list of available Legacy QuickGuides at  They are available as laminated four-page folders ($7.95 each) or as downloadable PDF files ($2.95 each).

The Pennsylvania Genealogy QuickGuide was written by Lisa A. Alzo. 

The description of this QuickGuide says:

"Looking to find those elusive Keystone State ancestors? The Pennsylvania Genealogy Legacy QuickGuide contains useful information including a timeline of Pennsylvania history events, tips on Pennsylvania research strategy, outline of major immigrant groups, and more. Also included are links to websites and resources covering vital records, church records, census records, as well as general Pennsylvania resources. This handy 4-page PDF guide can be used on your computer or mobile device for anytime access."

The subjects covered in the Pennsylvania Genealogy QuickGuide include (4 pages):

*  Timeline of Pennsylvania History
*  Pennsylvania Research Strategy
*  Pennsylvania History

*  Basic Pennsylvania Resources
*  Vital Records
*  Adoption Records
*  Birth and Baptism Records
*  Death Records & Obituaries
*  Cemetery Records
*  Wills & Probate Records
*  Census Records
*  Court Records
*  Tax Records
*  Marriage Records
*  Church & Religious Records
*  Land Records
*  Military Records
*  Immigration & Naturalization
*  Migration Routes & Trails
*  Newspapers
*  City & Business Directories

*  Maps and Geography
*  Archives and Libraries
*  Miscellaneous
*  Museums & Historic Sites
*  Genealogy & Historical Societies
*  Forums, Groups & Mailing Lists
*  Family Trees and GEDCOMs

For most of the subjects listed above, the items listed for each subject are website titles with links to the websites.  In some cases, there are shortened URLs for websites with long eddresses.

This Legacy QuickGuide is very useful for beginners and seasoned researchers alike.  The Pennsylvania Timeline and the Research Strategy sections are especially helpful.  The other subject areas, with links to websites, are oriented towards the online genealogist.  I am sure that I will use this QuickGuide to help me find records of my Pennsylvania ancestors.

The laminated version of this QuickGuide is very handy for researchers going to repositories or society meetings - it is light and easy to carry in a briefcase or computer case.  I much prefer the PDF version because I can save it to my computer (and laptop, tablet, and smart phone using Dropbox or another cloud service) and have it available in digital format for instantaneous usage at home, in a repository or while traveling by clicking the links provided, rather than typing the links into my web browser. 

Order your copy of the Pennsylvania Genealogy QuickGuide (Printed ($7.95) or PDF ($2.95)) at the Legacy Family Tree Store.

Disclosure:  I was provided a complimentary copy of the PDF version of this Legacy QuickGuide on the condition that I provide a timely review of each QuickGuide provided.  Look for more in the near future!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Using RecordSeek to Add Sources to the FamilySearch Family Tree

In my blog post, Finding the Best Way to Attach Sources to Persons in FamilySearch Family Tree, I lamented the fact that there was no easy way to create a source citation using a document not found in the FamilySearch historical record collections.

Reader Michael W. McCormick quickly commented:

"In your last paragraph you say it does not work for sources outside the FamilySearch collection. There is actually a 3rd party button that you can use to automatically create a source that links to any Internet page you are on. Find a record on FindAGrave, RootsWeb, or anywhere online? Use the button to make an instant source for Family Tree. Learn more here: I am not affiliated with them, but I think it comes in handy. It is still not as easy to add sources as some other online trees, but this button helps."

I vaguely recalled reading something about this thing called RecordSeek, but the information came out just before Christmas and I was busy and did not follow up on it.

I explored and used the RecordSeek TreeConnect bookmarklet yesterday, and really like this tool to add sources to the FamilySearch Family Tree.  It works well, creating source citations similar to those created by the "My Source Box" with FamilySearch historical records.

The website says:

"Our bookmarklet is intuitive and easy to use.  drag it to your bookmark bar and that's it."

"Our bookmarklet is mobile optimized.  Use it on your favorite mobile device, and never be without."

"Our bookmarklet works on multiple platforms.  Supports all major browsers."

"RecordSeek is the easiest way to submit a website as a source to FamilySearch. Once you have it installed, go to any online website, and when you see a great source, click the 'Tree Connect' button in your Bookmark Toolbar."

The site says to "Drag this bookmarklet to your bookmark bar."  There is a green "Tree Connect" button.  There is a "Help" link next to the green button - check it out if you need more information.

I did as the site said - dragged it to my bookmark bar in Chrome.  That was easy - now how does it work?

I went to a non-FamilySearch website with records.  for this demonstration, I chose my great-grandparents Find A Grave site.  

Do you see the Bookmarklet "Tree Connect" on my Booksmarks Bar?  I pointed the red arrow to it in the screen above.

To create a source in the FamilySearch Family Tree for this record, I clicked on the Tree Connect bookmarklet:

1)  I had to sign into FamilySearch in order to access the Family Tree.

2)  The "Creating a Source" screen appeared in a new window:

The "Source Title (Required)" and "Where the Record is Found (Citation)" fields are filled in.  There is also a "Describe the Record (Notes)" field where the user can add information about the source, and a "Source Box (Folder)" field where I can choose to place the source found.

I added information to the "Describe the Record" and "Source box" fields by typing in the fields:

3) I clicked the "Save" button and then I had to fill in the "Discover Your Deceased Ancestors" form in order to attach my Source to the person in the Family Tree:

I added his full name, gender and event to the fields on the form.  I could have entered his spouse's name and his parents names, but I didn't.

4)  I clicked on the "Search" button to find him in the Family Tree:

5)  My Frank Walton Seaver is the first one on the list, so I clicked on his name link and saw the "Attach Source" field which wanted a reason to attach the source:

6)  I added my reason and clicked on the "Attach" button:

The screen above told me that the Source was attached to Frank Walton Seaver on the FamilySearch Family Tree.  On the screen above, I could choose to "View Your Source Box," "View Your Newly Created Source," "View Frank Walton Seaver's Person Card," or "Close Window."

7)  I chose to "View Your Nearly Created Source" button:

9)  If I had clicked on the "View Frank Walton Seaver's Person Card" link, I would have seen that the source appears on the Sources" list in the FamilySearch Family Tree in the same format as above (with the source detail clicked):

10)  As with the FamilySearch record collections, these source citations are not in Evidence! Explained format, and the user is limited as to the format used in Family Tree.  The user can edit any of the fields above.  The user can click on the web link to see the record on the website.  The user still has to click the "Tag" link on the source to attach the Source to an Event.

11) I tried this with other records on - both the record summary and the record image, and it worked well.  It also works for records in the FamilySearch historical record collections, the WorldvitalRecord collections, the GenealogyBank collections, etc.  For records not in an online database (e.g., a vital record certificate, a scanned probate record or deed, etc.), the user could link to a blog post that has the transcription and/or the image of the record.  

12) Note that the record image is not saved on the FamilySearch Family Tree system.  This prevents the Tree system from hosting millions of records already saved on the Internet, so that may be a good thing.  Also, the images on these websites are not "owned" or "copyrighted" by the user, so this avoids copyright issues.

The major problem with any source citation system that links to a web site is that the web site may change their page addresses or even disappear.  

13)  My opinion is that the RecordSeek bookmarketlet works really well.  It captures the website desired, and puts the information into the FamilySearch Family Tree Source format.  However, there are so many steps to work through to get it into the Family Tree that it seems like the same amount of effort as using the "My Source Box" for FamilySearch records.  

With some practice, this source citation process goes pretty fast, but it is not nearly as easy as "copy and paste" or "click and save" from a certified software program.  My hope remains that the FamilySearch Family Tree will provide an easier way to attach source citations to Persons using the certified software like RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree.  

Kudos to Dovy Paukstys and the Real Time Collaboration team for creating a very useful source citation creator for the FamilySearch Family Tree.

There will be an Ohana Software webinar on Thursday, 31 January at 7 p.m. MST - see the announcement and register for the webinar at

My thanks to Michael Mccormick for mentioning the RecordSeek Tree Connect bookmarklet on my earlier blog post!

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful Reader Comments

On Friday, I try to follow-up my recent blog posts by posting answers to reader questions and pass along helpful and interesting reader comments.  Here is this week's selection:

1)  On "Principles of Pinball Approach to Genealogical Research" Defined and Discussed (23 January 2013):

*  The Lurking Genealogist noted:  "I have always wondered when "enough is enough" regarding my research. I also considered the fact that I want to leave behind quality research, or at least the research to the best of my ability. It is with that in mind that for the most part, I am working on my direct lines and the siblings down one generation. If I can do that well, then I will be leaving research that others can build on. I also think that others bear the responsibility of doing their research to the best of their ability. In fact, no one person can do it all and do it well. Just my thought."

My comment:  Amen to "No one person can do it all and do it well."  As time goes on, I hope that you will continue to do more generations in your research.  You may be the only person with the information and capability to do it.

*  JL Beeken commented:  "I'm interested in all my lines but more interested in the closer generations and the generations closer to my direct lines. After 6 or 8 generations even the direct lines seem somewhat 'collateral'. Since there are several co-researchers involved in these lines, who knows where the 'endpoint' is.

"My collateral lines are someone else's direct lines and as far as accuracy goes, I do my best but when it comes down to it, I leave the collaterals to those someone else's. I've seen so much inaccuracy online (and in official records) for my direct lines, I figure that door swings both ways."

My comment:  I have essentially the same views - the closer generations are "mine" and in many cases, no one else is researching them (but that doesn't keep the persons and events from being added to someone else's family tree).  I rely on the sourced research of others for the earlier (past 8 generations before me) ancestral families.

*  mbm1311 said:  "My family is from Ireland and I'm so proud to be connecting these people together again. So I'm researching my collateral lines and FAN people (baptismal sponsors). Because it's such a big job I'm sticking to vital recs, obits and census. My goal is to create an accurate data base because I know from my husbands family that over time, some one(s) will pick up on that and do more research. With today's technology and repositories we have the chance to lay a great foundation for ongoing research."

My comment:  Good luck with your project.  

*  Barbara Renick offered:  "I teach a class on evaluating what you have found (just did so at the Family History Expo in Mesa, AZ last weekend) where I explain ten points to use to evaluate what you have found (or compiled into a family group record) and if any three of those points is present you are out of luck and need to do more support research (FAN etc.) to strengthen your compilation. Thus the "3 Strikes and You're Out" name for that part of the lecture."

My comment:  Unfortunately, I haven't seen this presentation - I think it's new.  I hope that Barbara will present it in the San Diego area sometime soon!  Or as a webinar.

*  Pam S. wrote:  "I have been reading your posts for over a couple of years and just wanted you to know that you have helped me advance my technology on researching. Thank you for all the knowledge you are producing on your website and to everyone out there."

My comment:  Thank you, Pam, I appreciate comments like this.  There are many genealogy writers and bloggers that contribute to the education of the genealogy world, and I'm happy to be a small part of it.

*  Mariann Regan commented:  "Here's my favorite among your sentences: 'Of course, they are all derivative sources - but they are all derived from 'official' records.' I think that's a very meaningful distinction. There's a vast difference between those cloned public trees on Ancestry and an 'official' Immigration record or Death Certificate. We can't double-check everything right away, and we have to start somewhere. As we deepen our searches, we can add sources. I think you're playing Well-Informed Pinball here, and as long as you're not presenting it as final proof, and you aren't, your results are helpful toward finding connections and enriching your information."

My comment:  I'm collecting evidence when I'm enriching my database.  The entire collection for a person, and for their family members, needs to be critically evaluated to ensure that each bit of evidence applies to the person and family.  As we gain experience, we learn which resources can be trusted and used with confidence.

*  Claire Keenan Agthe noted:  "I'm sure it's probably evident from the event / place to which you link this source, but reading just the source itself, I can't help wondering, Is this New Brunswick, Canada, or New Brunswick, NJ, or some other New Brunswick (Indiana)? My first thought was Maine, but there's no 'New' there, just plain old 'Brunswick.' Shouldn't the full place location be in the citation to be really clear to researchers?"

My comment:  It is evident from the place entered for the event in the database, but yours is an excellent suggestion.  I could have placed "[Canada]" in the source citation, and will try to do that on the blog also (where the place for the event is not always specified).

*  Claire Keenan Agthe commented:  "My thought on seeing the rocks and the beach, and the bundled-up women, was, 'It looks like a Maine beach.' (Growing up with NJ beaches as my reference point, I was shocked to see what Mainers consider a beach the first time I was in New England). Are you sure it's in the San Diego area? Maybe West Coast came to visit East Coast, rather than the other way around... My only experience with CA beaches was dark, coarse sand, not the light sand in the picture--but I'm sure you know more about CA beaches than I do!"

and:  "Interestingly enough, I just recently was given a copy of a photo of my grandmother and two of her sisters at a NJ beach in (if memory serves) 1931. Granted, it's 10 years later than yours, but my photo shows all three in (extremely modest) bathing suits. Your ladies being fully dressed does suggest to me that it's a beach (like Maine) that's too cold for sunbathing."

My comment:  While the San Diego area has several wind/wave carved cliffs like the picture, most of our beaches are small grain grayish sand (not the fine white sand I saw in Florida, or the coarser dark gray sand I see in the San Francisco area).  The ladies being fully dressed suggests to me that they went to the beach for sightseeing and a photo opportunity rather than swimming or sunbathing.  The air temperatures at the San Diego beaches are typically 65 to 75F in the early summer, ocean temperatures peak at about 70F in late summer, and it may have been too cold for swimming or sun bathing (I have fond (?) memories of bundling up on the 4th of July at the beach!). 

It could have been an East Coast picture, since these families maintained a correspondence, and I know that Emily's daughter visited her cousins in Massachusetts in the early 1920s.  Where on the New England coast are there wind and wave carved cliffs or rock formations like those shown? 

*  anitab noted:  "I was just looking (yesterday) at a photo of my grandmother and her sister, taken on a 1925 trip from Los Angeles to Vancouver, BC; and the thing I am struck by is the similarity in the glasses. Maybe they wore those glasses when they were in an open car?"

My comment:  You may be right - that makes good sense.  However, I know that Emily had eyesight problems and wore glasses all of her life (as have I!).

*  Jason Crews asked:  "I really wish that they would give us an option to produce the report with footnotes rather than endnotes.... Randy have you found a way to do this?"

My response:  NO, and I also wish that they would.  RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree have footnote options for narrative reports - why doesn't Family Tree Maker?  When I want a narrative report with footnotes, which is my preference, I use RootsMagic or Legacy.  I hope that Family Tree Maker adds a Footnote capability to the narrative reports.

6)  Thank you to my readers for their comments.  I know that the Captcha "feature" is difficult to overcome at times, and appreciate your persistence.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Legacy Family Tree Webinars for 2013 All Set

One of my favorite "Continuing Education" venues is the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series (, hosted by Geoff Rasmussen.

There are 43 webinars scheduled for 2013.  You can register for FREE for any or all of them at their website,  After you register, they will send you an email with a link to your reserved webinar, and another one as the webinar time approaches.

There is a long list of previous webinars on the same web page (scroll down!) that can be viewed and purchased; some are free for a short time, others are free for an unlimited time, and many have only short previews but are available on CDROMs for purchase (which includes the syllabus for the presentation.  One of the benefits of attending the webinars "live" is that you can participate in the polls conducted, and you are eligible for one of the prizes awarded by Geoff during the webinar.

Here is a screen shot at the top of the Archived Webinar list:

I try to catch some of these webinars on a regular basis if I cannot be there "live."  Unfortunately, many of these webinars are scheduled on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Pacific time, which is when I'm usually leaving for a CVGS meeting.

I watched Marian Pierre-Louis' webinar from 16 January on "In the Trenches: Successful On-Site Research" today and enjoyed it, and learned some things.  This webinar, and Lisa Alzo's webinar from 23 January, are available for free viewing until 28 January 2013.

Here is the opening screen from Marian's webinar:

If you cannot attend conferences and seminars, please consider getting your "continuing education" fix by attending these webinars online when they are presented, or view them before they go behind the pay wall.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Win a FREE Registration to RootsTech (21-23 March 2013)

Like the other Official Bloggers for RootsTech 2013, I am able to offer one complimentary three-day registration to the RootsTech 2013 Conference in Salt Lake City, to be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center from March 21-23, 2013.  

If you want to attend RootsTech 2013 (three days), then you can compete for a free registration right here on Genea-Musings. Here are my rules:

1)  This contest will be by a random drawing.  I will make a numerical list of entries, and use a random number selection process to select the number.

2)  To enter the contest, please go to the official RootsTech website, and perform these tasks:

*  Go to the "Schedule" page ( and select one of the speaker presentations that you just have to attend - your research depends on it.

* There is no list of exhibitors yet, so tell me which genealogy vendor you really want to visit, and why, while you're at RootsTech 2013.

3)  Tell me about your two choices in an email to me at  Title your email with "RootsTech 2013" so that I can add you to the list of entrants.

Easy, eh?  Please enter ONLY if you intend to attend RootsTech 2013.

Note that this contest is ONLY for a complimentary registration to the full three-day conference ($149 value) - you will have to pay your own travel, lodging and food costs to get there and stay there.  There will be no "Occupy RootsTech" camp available, and sleeping over at the Family History Library is not permitted.

This contest will end at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on Sunday, 3 February 2013.  

will select a winner by 11:59 PM PST on Monday, 4 February, and will publicize the winner on Wednesday, 6 February.  I will notify the RootsTech Conference people of the winner's name, they will send the complimentary registration redemption code to me, and I 
will contact the winner by email with the redemption code so that they can register for the conference.

The Registration page for RootsTech 2013 notes that the Early-Bird 3-day full Registration fee is $149 until 15 February 2013, and is $219 after 15 February.  So register early!

Late word from the RootsTech people:  "
If your winner is already a registered attendees, we will apply a credit for their existing pass and issue a refund."

Disclosure:  I am an Official RootsTech 2013 Blogger and one of the perks is this Free registration contest for my readers.  I have received a complimentary registration to RootsTech 2013 also, and look forward to seeing many friends, bloggers and readers there.  It should be fun!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Check Out the Census Dotmap - Can You Find Your House?

Have you seen the Census Dot Map for the 2010 U.S. Census and 2011 Canadian Census?  Check it out at  The site says:

"This is a map of every person counted by the 2010 US and 2011 Canadian censuses. The map has 341,817,095 dots - one for each person."

You can zoom in on any part of the map and manipulate the map using drag-and-drop.  Here's Southern California:

Here's southwestern San Diego county, including Chula Vista:

Here is Chula Vista (maximum magnification):

And my neighborhood with my home location circled (approximately!):

The large blank area in the upper left area of the last image is a schoolyard.  There are dots located in that area.  Similarly, there is a large area further to the west (on the Chula Vista image) which is a golf course.  There are dots there too.  Are these persons "living" in these areas?

The DotCensus site says:

"The census reported that someone lived there."

OK, I'll take their word for it!  

Isn't this a cool map system?  

The URL for this post is:

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1850 U.S. Census Record for William Knapp Family

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the 1850 United States Census record for my Knapp 3rd-great-grandparents and their family in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey:

The entry for the William Knapp family:

The extracted information for the family, residing in the West Ward of Newark City, taken on 3 August 1850, is:

*  William Knapp -- age 75, male, a shoemaker, $800 in real property, born NY
*  Sarah Knapp, age 66, female, born NJ
*  Catherine Knapp, age 40, female, born NJ
*  Elsey Knapp, age 19, female, born NJ

The source citation for this census entry is:

1850 United States Federal Census, Sussex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Newton township, page 137, dwelling #454, family #486, William Knapp household; digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, Roll 464.

I don't see any significant errors in this census record.

This is the only census record I have for this family that includes the names of the persons in the family.  William and Sarah had 11 children, and the other 9 children had married and had their own families in 1850.  William Knapp died in 1856 in Newton, New Jersey, and Sarah died in 1878 in Newton.

William and Sarah (Cutter) Knapp were the parents of my great-great-grandmother, Sarah (Knapp) Auble, who married David Auble in 1844.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Principles of Pinball Approach to Genealogical Research" Defined and Discussed

My friend and colleague DearMYRTLE coined the Pinball Approach to Genealogical Research the other day, and I jumped on it with two blog posts describing how I do genealogy search (not sure it's research!) tasks in a "Pinball Genealogy" fashion:

*  Pinball Genealogy - My Hints Practices

*  Pinball Genealogy - Enriching My Genealogy Database

DearMYRTLE wrote Principles of "The Pinball Approach to Genealogical Research" today and further defined her description of the principles in eight elements - please see her post for them.  

My opinion is that these principles describe one version of "Pinball Genealogy" - the one where undocumented information is used without consulting other online or repository resources.  I admit that I've done this over the years - as have most researchers, I suspect.  

Frankly, the elements Myrt describes in her post apply to more than just online searching in family trees or indexes.  There's no difference between entering names, dates, places and relationships into a genealogy program out of a surname book, locality book or periodical, and doing the same from an online family tree or website.  Most researchers start out this way.  I have, and continue to do it with what I consider authoritative resources, depending on my judgment and experience.

As Myrt points out, doing a "Reasonably Exhaustive Search" and applying the "Genealogical Proof Standard" using FAN Club principles (Family, Associates, Neighbors) to determine kinship of a person to a parent, or a spouse, needs to consider more resources than the quick online grab of an index entry, a mention in a county history book, or just using census records.  The "more resources" that should be used in a RES/GPS/FAN project include, but are not limited to, historical record types such as probate, land, tax, town, church, vital, court, military, passenger lists, naturalization papers, etc.  I try to do that for my ancestral families, but I don't usually do it with the collateral lines.

Just as a pinball wizard learns how to work the machine in the arcade to his benefit (using the flippers, a jolt here, a nudge there, avoid tilt!), searchers like me have learned how to mine online databases, how to utilize record provider features like Ancestry Hints, and how to find additional resources to add to the document record for a person.  

I really think that what I described in my posts is "Pinball Genealogy," since I am not doing a RES/GPS/FAN project for most of the persons in my database.  I don't have the time or interest to do that.  However, my practices do include making a conscious evaluation of the limited information obtained and, if used, sourcing the information in my database.

What do my readers think?  How far should I go to try to prove the relationships of my collateral lines?  Should I ignore the blank fields in my database and just concentrate on my ancestral families?  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver